Why is it so hard to make a good game streaming service?

Google Stadia came out this November and has largely been seen as a flop.
Image Via ShareSTADIA

The Netflix of games, it sounds simple, doesn’t it. Well, apparently making a good game streaming service is harder than it sounds. Many companies, big and small, have tried to create such a promising service before. First it was OnLive, who produced a set top box device that could stream games to your living room for a monthly fee. While it showed promised, OnLive’s idea proved to be too far ahead of its time, and the company shut down in 2015. Then Nvidia tried to make their own vision of a games streaming product, which had promise thanks to the reputation of the company behind it. Like OnLive, however, Nvidia’s game streaming platform never got off the ground. Most recently, Google attempted to do the impossible with their take on game streaming service, called Stadia. However Stadia seems to have a similar fate as its ancestors from OnLive and Nvidia, as the platform has seen a plethora of issues since its launch in November. Foremost is the lack of a non premium option at launch, which forces users to cough up a hefty fee to pay for the “founders edition”, which is essentially a payed beta. Like a beta, Stadia has seen many software related issues, which include causing the phones and chrome casts that the platform is running on to overheat. Reports have also come out that, while Google promised games would be playable in 4K at launch, this is not the case for most of the current titles. These issues have caused many to preemptively shrug Stadia off as flop and has caused those who though that Google could finally succeed where companies like OnLive and Nvidia went wrong loose hope. But we can’t loose hope yet. While Google was making headlines for its buggy platform, Xbox was testing out its own game streaming service, called XCloud. Early testers praised the streaming service for finally cracking the nut on game streaming, and many of these testers seem to think that Xbox could finally be the one to succeed with game streaming. Xcloud uses a different approach from competitors. Instead of streaming games from a datacenter, Xcloud takes a path that better fits the technological landscape we are in right now rather than producing a platform that is ahead of its time, like its predecessors. Xcloud streams data from Xbox owners’ console to whatever device they want, allowing them to use entirely their own hardware, unlike other companies that essentially rent out pieces of their own hardware for you to use. Another benefit of Xbox’s product is that the company behind it is purely a video game company. In recent years, Xbox has become closer and closer to a synonym for gaming, and out of all of its predecessors and competitors, its foot is farthest in the door when it comes to gaming. These two advantages together could give Microsoft what it needs in order to finally succeed where the others before it have failed, but time will tell, Xcloud is said to launch sometime next year and we will have to wait and see if my predictions were right or if I will have a post titled exactly the same next year

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